Monday, January 16, 2012

The One that Defined it all


Continuing "The Best, Worst, and the One that Defined it All" for the Norries Wilson era.

There were some highs and lows during former Head Coach Norries Wilson's years at CU.

I would actually say the true "high" was the improvement in overall team talent and the very tangible trend of improved player retention during his time.

The gut-wrenching close losses will probably be what sticks in the minds of the fans the most in the coming decades, and that's understandable considering wounding losses like the 2009 contest versus Yale and the missed opportunity against Penn this past Homecoming.

But the one game that wrapped much of the good, but way too much of the disappointing feel of the Wilson era was the 24-21 loss to Lafayette on a warm October 2009 night in Easton, PA.

It was a game where the Lions jumped out in front early with dazzling play after dazzling play. WR Austin Knowlin stunned the home crowd with fantastic runs after catches and super kick returns.

It was a game where the heavily favored Leopards were surprised to get such a fight from a Columbia that hadn't really challenged them the previous two seasons. Columbia had been shut out on the same field in 2007 and the Lions barely scored in the game in New York in 2008.

But it was also a game where the horrific injuries and questionable penalties didn't go the Lions' way. Alex Gross was lost for the seaon after being injured on the opening kickoff... leaving many of us wondering why he was playing on special teams at all. A false start penalty wiped out a TD, and a series of pass interference calls ultimately lost the Lions the game.

It was a game where Columbia failed to make the proper halftime adjustments and lost almost all momentum in the third quarter.

It was a game where new young talent made its mark, but just couldn't get the Lions over the hump. Ross Morand was the best example of that with an INT and several other good plays, but he was ultimately abused with more than one questionable pass interference penalty on Lafayette's winning drive.

No, it wasn't an Ivy game.

No, it wasn't the most heartbreaking loss.

But no game showed exactly how incomplete the Wilson approach was in the journey that is making Columbia a winning program.

1 comment:

Lion Fan said...

How did the weekend go with recruits jake? Was this pete's first full weekend with recruits? How many more does he have planned, and what is his program like vs norries? Yale recruit parents reports a positive first weekend for their new coach.